in town for free camps
Every once in a while, usually during a slow holiday week, I go into the Rivals FORT and respond to a chimpanzee there. It is always a mistake and a reminder why mgoblog flourishes. The theme is universally the same there: someone posts a comment, usually chock full of primitive misspellings, and then he gets flamed for posting the comment.
For example, today someone had the temerity to question RR's management of recruiting. Now, on the surface, this seems unwise because RR has done quite well based upon most measures. But this poster pointed out some of the cracks in the recruiting facade such as the decommits, communication with Shavodrick, management of QB recruiting, the lack of Michigan blood, etc. All have rational explanations, but you would have thought that this poster suggested Tressel was a better coach than Bo.
The interesting thing is that if someone were to post the opposite thesis, the flaming would still happen, and I am not convinced that some of the flamers would not be the same people.
So, I am offering this PSA to those considering a Rivals membership for Christmas. Don't. It's not that it isn't useful, but I think you get 60% of the value from the free stuff and the other 40% can be found here. Send Brian the $$$.
Since everybody has put in a playoff system i thought i would invent one. This playoff system is an 16 team playoff with the top 16 teams going in it using the bcs standings. since the bcs cronies say that the season is to long then limit the teams to one bye week which means that the regular season would end on November 22nd this year with the confrence title games being on the 29th however all confrences must have a title game to make even yes sun belt that includes you. The first two rounds are at the higher seeds home stadium with the semi-finals and finals being at 3 of the 4 current bcs sites while they rotate with one sitting out every year that one will host one of the bowl games out side of the top 16. To add money for schools all those who are not playing in the semi-Finals have the option of playing in the regularly scheduled bowl games which will be held between the semi finals and finals ok so this is how the schedule would go with the teams who id think would win the matchups.
#1 Oklahoma vs. # 16 BYU (@ Oklahoma)
#2 Flordia Vs. #15 Georgia (@ Flordia)
#3 Texas Vs. # 14 Georgia Tech ( @ Texas)
#4 Alabama vs #13 Oaklahoma State (@ Alabama)
#5 USC vs. # 12 Cincinnati (@ USC)
#6 Utah vs. #11 TCU (@ Utah)
#7 Texas Tech vs. # 10 Ohio State (@ Texas Tech)
#8 Penn State Vs. #9 Bosie State ( @ Penn State)
the teams would then be put in the second round highest seed against lowest seed as opposed to the ncaa basketball tournament where they have pre set second round seed matches even when th elower seed wins.
#1 Oklahoma Vs. #8 Penn state (@ Oklahoma)
#2 Flordia Vs. #7 Texas Tech (@ Flordia
#3 Texas Vs. #6 Utah (@ Texas)
#4 Alabama Vs. #5 USC (@ Alabama)
After the first rounds the games would go to the bcs sites minus one of them for this one i took away the Orange Bowl because i despise Pro Player Stadium or whatever they call it now.
#1 Oaklahoma vs. #4 Alabama (@ the fiesta Bowl)
#2 Flordia Vs. # 3 Texas ( @ the Sugar Bowl)
the National Championship game will be scheduled January 8th to let all the bowl games go by. So with the bowl schedule the loss of one bcs bowl game because of th enational championship that means that 2 teams will have to be booted out to make room for 4 Ohio State, Penn State, USC, And utah since two of these teams Utah and Usc (since they are the higest ranked) will play in the orange bowl which got left out of the semi finals finals rotation. To make room 2 bcs confrence schools with a 6-6 record will go so Notre Dame and North Carolina State. So that means that Penn State will be playing Hawai'i in the Hawi'i Bowl and Ohio State will be playing Rutgers in th Papajohns.com Bowl then th eBowls would go as scheduled normally.
national championship game Jan 8th
#1 Oklahoma Vs. Flordia (@ Rose Bowl)
So that is my playoff idea what do you guys think of it.
UPDATE: I played with formatting. DEAR LORD DOES IT LOOK BETTER. It'll be formatted like this forever now. Also, we beat Florida Gulf Coast. It's fine to be a Michigan Wolverine I guess.
To summarize this entire post: No change in hockey, GLI THIS WEEKEND! Basketball is #24 in the media and got totally screwed by incompetent coaches. I predict no changes next week, because no one really plays this week. Of course, if you want to read the post, I worked very hard on it.
Alright, forgot to update last night, so, a quick weekend wrap-up before we get to the new rankings.
#10 Colorado College ties Sacred Heart on Friday, Kills them on Saturday. No rankings change there, Michigan goes into this weekend’s GLI #11.
Michigan should win the Great Lakes Invitational. We should. This doesn’t mean we will. It’s at the Joe, Saturday (Tickets still available and cheap! I’ll be there!). The first round, we play a 4-14-2 Michigan Tech, while the other game is a struggling Spartan squad vs. the just-above-.500 North Dakota fighting Souix. (I’m not entirely sure what order they come in. USCHO.com says one thing, the Michigan hockey schedule says another.) Winner of our game plays winner of theirs on Sunday, I expect a Michigan v. North Dakota final, which would be the two losers of last years’ Frozen Four. We win, we keep our NCAA tourney chances very alive, and, every time you go to the Joe (at least until the CCHA tournament), both college hockey banners will say Michigan. If we’re in the Finals, you can catch it on FSN. If we’re not in the finals, and we end up with a Michigan v. Michigan State 3rd place game, FOR GODS SAKE COME TO THE JOE. Even if it’s not for a GLI championship, I want a SEASON SWEEP of Michigan State this year. We can do it.
Only other thing that may matter, #9 Cornell plays in another Christmas tourney, the Florida College Classic, which could actually be a very good tournament. They get St. Cloud St. on Saturday, no guaranteed win. Other game is Colgate v. Maine, probable Maine win. And, even if Cornell makes the finals, Maine’s no slouch either.
So, probably not much rankings change this week. Maybe gain a spot if we win the tournament. I can’t wait until hockey starts again proper.
Games I didn’t care about that went as expected:
#23/#24 Marquette over Western Carolina
#21/#24 Baylor over Texas-Arlington (Though it was damn close.)
Games I actually cared about:
In short, EVERYTHING went the way I wanted it to.
For starters, we beat Oakland. It was a good game. Three-point shooting was great, and LLP!!!!!! Awww yeah. LLP.
#19/#22 Michigan State OVER #5/#5 Texas: Long term, very good for us. If we beat the Spartans in February, we’ve beaten a team that beat a top 5 team. A strong Big Ten is good for Michigan.
#22/#20 Davidson LOSS #13/#18 Purdue: Woohoo Big 10 again. Davidson may fall out, or maybe we enter above them.
BYU LOSS #20/#17 Arizona State: Guarantees BYU doesn’t get to take open spot in the Coaches’ poll over us.
#23/#21 Memphis LOSS #11/#11 Syracuse: Opens up spot in polls, or gives us opportunity to enter above them.
Miami (FL) LOSS #25/#25 Clemson: This one was good for us no matter what happened. Clemson losing would have dropped them from the polls, but, Miami losing means they don’t have the opportunity to replace them.
My guess (as of this writing, polls haven’t come out, but, I’m not posting twice in one day): #23. Both polls.
So, now, I take a break from writing this, shower, eat a sandwich, wait for polls to come out.
And now, a rant:
COACHES DON’T WATCH BASKETBALL. It’s very clear to me now. They don’t deserve to vote, they don’t watch games. How they hell do you justify BYU getting more votes than Michigan in a week where BYU lost? How the hell does Minnesota go from not getting any votes to being #23? That’s such bullshit. Absolute bullshit. I’m pissed. Minnesota beat ONE top 10 team. We beat TWO top 5 teams. Total crap.
The AP Poll: We’re ranked! We’re #24! We’re ranked! We get a little number next to our name! Woohoo! I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get a spot higher, mostly because of who got the #23 spot: Minnesota. Listen, I’m all for the “Strong Big 10 is good for Michigan” thing, but, again, we’ve earned it way more than they have. February 19th at our place, March 9th at theirs. Let’s take care of some business.
So, for us this week: Florida Gulf Coast tonight at 7:00 on bigtennetwork.com. Honestly, I won’t be watching (I’ll be sledding!). We better freaking win. No Savannah State crap. That’s it. Have a good Christmas, Wolverines.
Alright, lemme plan your week off, starting with teams that are only higher than us in the Coaches poll (the first couple of whom aren’t ranked):
Davidson WHO LOST LAST WEEK, doesn’t play this week. Weird, right?
BYU WHO LOST LAST WEEK, plays tomorrow night vs. Western Oregon. Easy for them.
#25 Marquette WHO LOST LAST WEEK plays NC State tomorrow night and the Presbyterian Blue Hose (I’m not kidding) Sunday. The second one's an easy win, but, as was pointed out in the comments, NC State's a 1-loss team and shouldn't be so quickly put aside. I still think Marquette should win, but, if they find themselves looking past NC State, they could get surprised.
#24 Memphis WHO LOST LAST WEEK already beat Drexel earlier today, and that’s it for this week.
So, the 5 teams ahead of us in the media poll and the rest of the bottom 5 in the coaches’. (Ranks listed in that order.)
#23/#23 Minnesota: Wednesday v. Southeastern Louisiana, Sunday v. High Point, two easy wins.
#22/#20 Clemson: No games this week.
#21/#22 Baylor: Tonight v. Hartford. Easy win.
#20/#17 Arizona State: Tomorrow v. Idaho State. Easy win.
#19/#19 Louisville: Saturday v. University of Alabama-Birmingham. Similar situation to Marquette's game, I called it an easy win, someone called me out. So, again, Louisville should win, but, they can't look past UAB.
#16/#21 Tennessee: No games this week.
So, in short, nothing happens this week. No mid-week update, unless something crazy happens. I don’t forsee any rankings changes that effect us next week (unless maybe the coaches really wise up). I’ll see you Sunday to report that everything went exactly as expected.
And, if you’re in town, the Great Lakes Invitational is a great way to see good hockey for pretty cheap. I hope to see you all there.
Full disclosure: I am a fan of Ohio State. I am emphatically not a fan of Michigan. I am not, however, here to be a douchebag - I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain (and, eventually, to tell you that you whistle past Beaver's de-commit at your peril).
I've been around long enough to have seen both Archie Griffin play in the (old) 'Shoe in person and my Buckeyes' loss to Air Force. And while I'm happy at the moment to be enjoying what the spin of the wheel has brought Ohio State recently, the searing memory of Cooper's 2-10-1 tenure is always with me. You won't find me here trolling about "LLLLLoyd". I actually really like that old coot, aside from the two-inches-from-the-official's-ear tantrums. And I don't believe for one second that we're just going to keep stomping you forever. Like I said, I've seen too many spins of the wheel to be that sanguine.
Anyway: This Beaver business is bad, bad news right now repeat right now, no matter how good or bad either Forcier or Beaver turn out to be. Nobody knows right now how good a college QB either of these two kids is going to be, as Brian said in the thread to another diary. One or the other, or both, might be terrible, merely competent, or outstanding. Odds are - per Brian's apparently well-supported theory on the predictive value of guru rankings - that, out of the pair, Michigan would get at least one very good QB, and perhaps two. But at the moment, the chances that Michigan will get a good QB out of the 2009 class have been halved to one - which, under the circumstances, is a whole lot less than two.
What if Forcier cannot beat out Threet - or, Jebus forbid, Sheridan - next fall? I've seen some commentary here that says: no matter, the universally guaranteed leap in QB competence between a player's first and second years will lead to a no-worries, put-it-in-the-bank 8-4 record that will make everything OK until we can land the next Pat White, or until Forcier turns into him or Shaun King.
Methinks that predictions of an 8-4 record, absent the emergence of a "good" rather than a "not DEATH" QB, assume facts not in evidence, especially during an offseason in which an entirely new defense (if you're going to play a 3-3-5, or even a 3-4-4, or whatever alignment you choose, isn't good safety play part of the deal?) is apparently going to be implemented. And me also thinks that nothing less than 7-5, which at this moment seems aspirational rather than assured, will be acceptable.
But all this is beside the point: Having both Forcier and Beaver in the fold meant that there were two highly-rated dual-threat QBs with a chance to rescue the Wolverines in the RichRod era. Now there is only one. Somebody in another thread brought up Ohio State's situation a few years ago with Troy Smith and Justin Zwick - but here's the rub: Troy Smith was recruited as an ATHLETE who had been given a chance to prove himself as a QB. Had Tressel been given a "Sophie's Choice" between one or the other as a QB recruit, then, based on rankings alone, he would have chosen Justin Zwick.
What has happened here is that Michigan has had one of those options taken away from them. That cannot, at all, be portrayed as not a big deal, other than with the future benefit of 20/20 hindsight. What is certain right now is that Beaver's de-committment really, really sucks for you.
With 10 games down, I figured I’d take a look at where we are, what we’ve done and where we’re going. Instead of waiting until after non-conference is over, I figured now would be a good time to take a look at the team, especially since we essentially have two tune up games before Wisco, providing a nice spot in the schedule to analyze where we stand prior to Big Ten season. First looking back at the first 10. Resume? We’re 8-2 with wins over #4 UCLA (who looks to be more of a 15ish team) and #4 Duke (who looks to be every bit of their ranking after destroying Xavier today). Losses to Duke on a neutral court and at Maryland. After several Top 25 teams losing this week, we’re almost for sure ranked come Monday. Minnesota and Miami are likely to join us. Instead of taking a game-by-game look at the first third of the season, I’m going to point out some stuff about the players. We’ll start at the top with Manny Harris.
Manny has simply been amazing thus far. He’s really been an All-American player through 10 games. He started the season with a career high 30-point effort, however today may have been his best game in his collegiate career: 15pts, 13 asts, 0 turns. Let me type that again: Thirteen assists, zero turnovers. Excellent. Manny has one of the quickest first steps I’ve seen at Michigan and there isn’t much he hasn’t done well this season.
DeShawn Sims is a man-child that can score at will. Okay, that may be a stretch. However, Peedie has been great in the last several games. He had another 20-point game today (he’s averaging 20.2 in the last 5 games). He also continues to rebound well. Nobody this season has been able to check him and his continued production will be huge when teams collapse on Manny.
Javohn Shephard has finally found a role (or JB has found a role for him) and he’s really beginning to excel in it. We’re clearly a small team, but having Javohn in the starting lineup takes some rebounding pressure off of Sims. Also, he’s our best OTB defender so when we are playing man he is pivotal in locking up the other team’s 2/3.
Douglass/Novak: These two have found excellent roles on this team. Stu struggled for a few games but has re-found his shooting touch, which IMO is crucial for this team’s success. Novak may be the better all-around player, but I think that bringing Novak off the bench is a great weapon – he’s the quintessential energy man. He rebounds, plays D, and hits big 3s. In order to be able to do that we need Douglass to be playing well, and he had a very nice game today. We saw the two on the floor together today, for I believe the first time. Oakland dropped to a zone so JB spread the floor with Stu and Zack, which allowed Manny to drive and dish. The result? Thirteen assists, zero turnovers.
Merritt/Lee/Grady/LLP: As a unit the PGs continue to improve with each game. That’s been pivotal in the team’s success. No matter who’s out there it seems that they can get their job done. Merritt runs the offense well, Lee plays strong D when called upon, and Grady has shown the ability to break down defenses off the dribble and hit some big shots (although he still takes some ill-advised deep treys). LLP showed today (4-6 from distance) that he’s going to be a factor and we can expect him to continue to improve and contribute.
Gibson/Wright: The only down point of the season has been the play of these two. Wright lost his starting gig to Shep and his minutes have dwindled since (he didn’t see the floor today). Gibson continues to disappoint on the defensive end, struggling to get rebounds. There’s going to be points in the B10 season where we need these guys on the defensive end.
So after 10 games we’re looking far better than anyone expected. The thing I love most about this team is that everyone, for the most part, has seemed to find a role on the team and they seem to relish it. We need that selflessness to continue and the obvious improvement to keep coming once we start B10 play. And the best thing is that we have 2 fairly cupcake opponents to getting some things straightened out before Wisconsin. Here’s what I’m looking for in addition to the Wolverines improving their “Eagle Mark” (EMU, FGC, and NCC) to 3-0 on the season:
1. Manny’s minutes down. He’s averaging over 32 mpg. It would be nice to get Manny some rest and at the same time get LLP up to game speed. If LLP is going to be as good as everyone has predicted (and so far, so good) we need to get him some minutes and get him ready before a big game against Wisco.
2. Defense, specifically, man. The 1-3-1 has looked fairly consistent, but today our man defense left much to be desired. It’s got to improve. Oakland’s big man dropped 23 on us. We’re small and we’re going to struggle down low at times, there's no avoiding that. In these next two games I’d like to see Sims, Harris, Shephard, Wright, and Gibson dominate the paint and the boards. That shouldn't be asking much against the Eagles (x2), but still, domination requested. Which leads me to...
3. Zack Gibson. My homework for Zack is to watch 48 hours of Michigan legend Graham “Hambone” Brown. Get mad, get physical, and get on the boards. We are going to need Zack in the Big Ten to be physical and rebound much better than he has so far. Let’s see some of it in these next two games.
4. The other guys continue to do what you’re doing. Keep up working within your roles and keep getting better. It’s been fun to watch guys like Grady relish their roles and begin to learn how to best help the team win a game without trying to go beyond their roles. That’s the kind of teamwork that will win big games.
Quick aside: The Big Ten is really, really deep. Minnesota (after upsetting #9 Louisville and staying undefeated) could be ranked come Monday, as well as Wisco. MSU, Purdue, and OSU are all very good teams, and Illinois and NW are off to good starts. This leads me to the following standard schedule evaluation...
So, taking a look at our next 10 games:
12/22 – Florida Gulf Coast
12/29 – North Carolina Central
12/31 – Wisconsin
1/4 – Illinois
1/7 - @ Indiana
1/11 – Iowa
1/14 - @ Illinois
1/17 – Ohio State
1/20 - @ Penn State
1/24 – Northwestern
Looking at these games, I see a ton of opportunity. I don’t want to get cocky or look past anyone, but these are all winnable games. All games would expect us to win. There are three, possibly four toss-ups: Wisco, @ Ill, OSU, and @ PSU. The others we should be expected to win. Those four I still see us as favorites, even if just barely. The Big Ten is very deep this year though. Wisconsin may be ranked when we play them. OSU could be up around #15 as well. Illinois has also got off to a great start. It’s essential that we get off to a great start. Wisco will be a big challenge to start the Big 10 season. If we get past them, I like our odds to go atleast 8-2 in this stretch. And it is very important that we go somewhere around 8-2 in this stretch. This is certainly the easy stretch of our conference schedule. No Purdue, no MSU, no Minnesota, and OSU/Wisco at home. We need to do well in this stretch because the second half of the B10 season is pretty brutal:
That’s a tough finish to the season, specifically those first two games and the last three. So again, it is essential that we go atleast 7-3 in the next 10. Anything worse and we could be looking at an uphill battle for a tourney spot. BUT! I have confidence that we WILL go atleast 7-3. Like I said all of our next 10 games are winnable and we are likely the favorites, even if barely, in each game!
As long as we take care of these next two games and get some quality preperation in for Wisco and take care of business on New Year’s eve, I’m liking where we’re at. Go Blue!
I just spoke with Ricardo Miller about the recent coaches visit, and a little about his reaction to Shavodrick Beaver decommitting. Here’s what he had to say.
TOM: Coach Smith and Frey came to see you, Kenny Shaw, and Demetrius Hart the other day, how did that go?
RICARDO: It went real well, I was excited to have them there. They were down here to see Jeremy Gallon, and then decided to come over and see us. That just proves to me what Coach Rodriguez said earlier. He told me earlier that he’s just as committed to me as I am him, and this showed me that. We started talking just about our year, and how we’re trying to improve. Then Kenny and Demetrius got there, and they were telling them how they think they’ll fit in, and how they can help Michigan.
TOM: Kenny Shaw is in your class, and a receiver, and Demetrius Hart is a sophomore, so what were they telling them? How do they fit in?
RICARDO: They were telling Kenny he could be a real good slot receiver up there, and get a chance to show the fans what he’s got. Demetrius, they were telling him that he’s perfect for their offense. He’s quick and could come in at running back.
TOM: How do you think they liked the coaches, and the experience?
RICARDO: I could tell they were real excited. Kenny and Demetrius are the same as me. They’re looking to find a home, and a place that they can feel like family. They’re going to keep their word, wherever they go, and do everything to help their team. I tell them all the time that Coach Rodriguez is here to help us all the time. From the talks that we have, I know he’s there for me on and off the field, which I love. I’ve just been focusing on that, and letting them know they can trust him, and he has our best interests in mind.
TOM: So, I broke the news to you last night that Beaver decommitted, what is your reaction?
RICARDO: I’m not even going to look into it. I’m disappointed, and I lost some respect for him, because I feel like you need to be true to your word. We became good friends, and we talked like we were brothers, so I don’t really get it. I was told that he said he didn’t feel like he fit in, and he was overwhelmed by the crowd at the game. You told me some things he said about Tulsa being focused on family, and that was a huge part of why I chose Michigan. That’s my family, and they’ve always focused on that. But, like I said, I’m not even worried about that. I’m moving forward, and Coach Rodriguez told me they are too. They’re excited to get Tate up there, and are going to find someone else to come in too. Coach Smith told me they’re disappointed in how it all happened, but they know he’s missing out. I’ve actually already started working on Devin Gardner, and trying to get him to come up there. I’m going to talk to him today about this, and see what he says. After talking with him at the Michigan State game, I really don’t think he’s the kind of guy to just choose a school to say he’s going there.
TOM: What do you mean?
RICARDO: Well I chose Michigan because I love Michigan. I’ve been a fan for who knows how long. After talking with the coaches, and being up there, I knew that was the place for me. I think sometimes kids make their decision just for themselves, to say I’m going to Michigan, or whatever school, not the right reasons. I’m recruiting some other kids, and I want Michigan men there. Guys that want to be at Michigan, because that’s what’s going to help the team. Look at Braylon Edwards, he’s like the spokes person for Michigan, because he’s a Michigan man. I mean, in the real world, you can’t tell someone you’re going to do one thing, then not do it. I don’t want to do anything that will show against my character, and I think that does.
TOM: You mentioned that Michigan is your family, what made you really feel that?
RICARDO: Well, when I went to Michigan for the Michigan State game, I knew that was the place. The coaches made me feel wanted, and so did the fans. The fans were all screaming my name, and telling me they want me, and I’m a junior. I mean, I went to Florida, and no one even knew who I was, or said anything to me, it was weird. Not that I want attention, but it was just like I was another kid coming in.
TOM: What are you focusing on right now?
RICARDO: I’m training for the Army All American combine, just trying to get ready to compete. Just trying to get to next season, keep my 3.5 GPA up, and just try to get to Michigan as fast as I can.